On a recent vacation to San Diego, we decided to include an amusement park in our plans. In the greater Los Angeles area, about a one and a half to three hour drive from San Diego are the following amusement parks: Universal Studios Hollywood, Pacific Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Knott’s Berry Farm, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Adventure City, and Disneyland. There’s also LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad and SeaWorld in San Diego. With so many to choose from, how do you choose just one?
It really depends what you’re interested in. My daughter is a huge roller coaster fan so I was looking primarily at roller coasters in making my decision. It was a tough decision between Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Knott’s Berry Farm is only about an hour and a half from San Diego but Six Flags Magic Mountain is about 3 hours from San Diego, so I chose Knott’s Berry Farm largely on proximity. However, Knott’s Berry Farm has eight “aggressive thrill” rides, so I knew it would be a good choice for our family.
There are ten roller coasters at Knott’s Berry Farm, six of which are rated “5, Aggressive Thrill,” with 5 being the highest and the other four are rated “4, High Thrill.” To me, one of the most crazy was Montezooma’s Revenge, which goes from from 0 to 55 mph in just 3 seconds, travels through a giant, seven-story loop — once forward, then again backwards.
Xcelerator’s top speed is 82 mph, which you hit in only 2.3 seconds!
There are many different kinds of things to do including Pan For Gold, the Blacksmith Shop, the Old Schoolhouse, Snoopy/Peanuts Gang Meet & Greet, Western Trails Museum and more. Plus, there are several live entertainment shows throughout the day including Camp Snoopy Theater and Frontier Feats of Wonder! Stunt Show. I personally love the Snoopy/Peanuts theme throughout the park. Some other aspects of the park reminded me a little of Silver Dollar City, an amusement with a “wild west” kind of feel in Branson, Missouri.
If roller coasters aren’t enough for you thrill junkies, there are two more rides that are considered “aggressive thrill rides.” Supreme Scream rockets riders straight up to a record-breaking 252 feet in midair, before blasting them straight down in three seconds at gravity-defying speeds topping 50 mph and after experiencing three seconds of total weightlessness. You bounce halfway back up the ride’s structure before returning to the launch pad. La Revolucion swings you 64 feet in the air (over 6 stories high) to 120 degrees in both directions, while spinning you continuously at up to 9 RPMs. Between the inward-facing inverted seating and the combination of the swinging arm and rotating gondola only people with iron stomachs can ride this one!
The Children’s Area is a generous 6-acres full of more than 30 rides and attractions. One of my favorites is Woodstock’s Airmail, a child-sized version of the park’s Supreme Scream (mentioned in previous paragraph). Obviously, Woodstock’s Airmail is much tamer than Supreme Scream, and it’s cute to watch.
Voyage to the Iron Reef is a 4-D interactive ride where you shoot at creatures with your “freeze ray” and it’s a fun ride for the whole family. There are also two water rides, Timber Mountain Log Ride and Bigfoot Rapids, a whitewater river raft ride. Also a family-friendly ride, Calico Railroad departs daily from Ghost Town Station for a round-trip tour of the park.
With all of these options, it’s hard to fit everything you want to see and do in one day. We arrived at the park shortly after they opened and stayed until they closed and still didn’t do many things. I was surprised at just how much there is at this park. You could easily stretch it out to two days and not be so rushed and you would definitely be able to see and do everything that way. We only had one day and had to prioritize what we wanted to do.
Bottom line, would I recommend going here? Absolutely.
Admission Tip: buy your ticket online 3 or more days in advance online and save $31 per ticket off the front gate price of $75. Adult tickets are $44 if purchased three or more days in advance and $49 if purchased 2 or less days in advance online. Single day tickets for children ages 3-11 or adults 62 or older are $42 if purchased online, saving you $3 over the gate price.